I attended yet another Friday night social dance at Boston Swing Central last week. It was a lot of fun and very exhausting. This time around it seemed like there may have been more leads than follows. Or maybe the dance was full of a large number of high stamina people. It just felt like I spent much more time dancing this week than during any of the other nights I have attended so far. Usually I get a moment to sit out a song and catch my breath, but not this time around. There was always someone seeking out a dance partner and since I was there to dance I certainly didn’t want to say no.
I made it to my second Friday night Boston Swing Central social dance and it’s definitely getting easier. All the dances include a lesson beforehand – I didn’t get there for the lesson the first time I went, but did make it this time around. It was useful to practice a bit before the dance started. Although I recognized some people from my classes, most were people I hadn’t seen before. Some were experienced dancers and others were swing dancing for the first time, including the friend I brought along with me. She was so excited to learn how to swing dance. The class taught folks 6 count swing over the course of an hour. It still amazes me just how many people were there – all of my classes have been large, but this lesson before the dance had a huge number of people attending. We barely fit in a circle around the very sizeable room.
After a one week hiatus (snowboarding at my usual kickboxing time), it was nice to be back. While i was waiting for the bus, one of the girls I've run into at the gym and talked to a few times, was driving by and offered me a ride which was so nice; That's part of what has been great about this experience - getting exposed to new people and hearing about what's brought them to this gym. There's definitely a ton of work out options around here and of course with the nice weather, it's limitless. So I find it interesting how people came to get started at Redline (seems like a lot of groupons have helped) and I get it - it's good for the whole body, it's an upbeat atmosphere and there's continually room to improve.
Swing dance class this week turned out to be a welcome reprieve on what was an otherwise pretty horrible day. It admittedly did take a bit more effort to get myself to class that night, but I had a commitment and couldn't let a bad day stand in the way.
It was a great class – we spent a lot of time working on what we learned in prior weeks and ended with learning a Charleston step. The step was simple but took a bit of coordination, so I wouldn't say it was easy. Overall, the class was pretty exhausting and energizing, which was just what I needed. It’s amazing just how much a little bit of exercise can affect my mood for the better. And swing dancing is a nice thing to do after a bad day - people are generally friendly, so there's a little bit of chatting to go along with the exercise. I highly recommend it!
Well the classes are winding down unfortunately and I've stuck to my promise to myself of trying out different ones. As much as I value trying new things for the sake of unfamiliar experiences, I love knowing what to expect. So it'd be easy for me to do the level 1 kickboxing class every week and leave it at that. It's not like I wouldn't benefit - it's been great. I can see how I've become more comfortable (and hopefully more skilled though that's hard to say) and I feel like I belong. Yet I entered this contest because I didn't want to just stay where I belong (soccer, casual gym routine).
I've only done yoga a handful of times, and i couldn't tell you which kinds I've done other than remembering very vividly one hot yoga class, which my friend chose to have on the morning of her bachelorette party...great thought, rough result.
As is the case with a lot of things, I like the idea of yoga and yet that doesn't really translate to my doing it. I was excited to see that Redline offers a yoga class and curious if/how it'd tie into fighting. I actually even asked the guy at the front desk whether I needed to rent gloves, and he was like "for yoga??" It would've made it interesting...
While there was still plenty of dancing, this week there was also a lot of time spent breaking down the dance moves. We started class dancing around the room using the simple 8-count footwork, which really helped reinforce the basics and get the rhythm into my head. It was just how I needed to start the class – last week I felt a bit shaky, it seemed like there was so much happening so quickly that I couldn't quite keep up, but this week we slowed it down.
After going to my first Fighter-Fit class a few weeks ago and enjoying it while also feeling like my ass got kicked, I was a little bit apprehensive about going to another knew I wanted to. At work we have "goals group" each morning (it's a residential mental health treatment program) and it's honestly one of my favorite parts of the day. We watch a Ted Talk, reflect on it and then share daily goals. I also get to sit on a comfy couch and drink tea; it's pretty awesome.
Last week I attended my second 8-count class and my first social dance. The social dance was on Friday night in the same space as all my classes, but with the bright lights turned down low. It was fun and slightly stressful. All of the sudden I had to take all I’ve learned so far and use it outside of the class setting. Leads danced in ways that I haven’t encountered yet, so it felt somewhat intimidating to ask someone to dance. But I did it, which was good, and just tried to do my best to follow. What I enjoyed most was all the twirling – there was certainly quite a bit of it and it was a lot of fun in a skirt.
As for my second 8-count class, it involved a lot of dancing so I definitely felt that I got a work-out. But, I also left the class feeling a bit off. I was having a hard time mastering the steps of a spin and in the end it felt a bit discouraging. Hopefully this week I’ll have a better handle on the basic steps and on that move!
I went to another kickboxing class (i promise, i will try something different before this is over) and again, enjoyed it a lot. I was thinking about how I've only competed in team sports (soccer, basketball, and more recreationally volleyball, kickball, etc.) and how different it is to rely solely on myself. My skill (or lack of...) only affects me. The only measure of how I'm doing is coming from within myself, reflecting week to week on what I'm capable of now that I wasn't able to do before. I know not everything is a contest and I can't help but be competitive, mostly with myself.